The National Law Journal – George Mason’s ‘ASSLaw’ and the Perils of Acronym Branding: Q&A

The National Law Journal spoke with branding expert Phillip Davis, president of North Carolina-based Tungsten Branding, about the naming brouhaha and what George Mason should do now that #ASSLaw has taken on a life of its own. (Yes, there is a parody Twitter account). His answers have been edited for length. When it comes to branding mistakes, how bad is this one? A couple things come into play. Sometimes these things can be explosive and horrible, but they fade quickly. The example that comes to mind is when Apple announced the iPad. The number one trending hashtag on Twitter was iTampon. Apple walked right into it. That was absolutely the hot topic of the day and that lasted about two to three days. The reason that faded is when you have an 800-pound gorilla, it will outbrand most mistakes. The question is: Are you an 800-pound gorilla?

Phil Davis

With over twenty-five years of company naming and branding expertise, Tungsten founder Phil Davis is a marketing and advertising veteran, having personally named over 250 companies, products and services worldwide. As a sought-after naming expert, Phil has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Inc.com, Businessweek, Entrepreneur, and Newsday.